Falsely Accused of Handheld Device Usage

JayT
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined:

Falsely Accused of Handheld Device Usage

Unread post by JayT on

Hi!

This is my first time ever getting a ticket and I am completely frustrated and don't know what to do.

On July 7th, I was driving to work, taking my usual route and it's about a 15 minute drive for me. At the first red light, I noticed I had a bit of time thanks to the countdown so I quickly reached into my bag to grab a lip balm. I noticed I had brought the wrong one so I just kept it out and left it in my cup holder. My cellphone was in the bottom of my bag the entire time and I did not even look at it.

I continued on my way and suddenly I was pulled over by a cop. I don't speed and I signaled with abundance of space for each lane change/ turn that I did. I could not imagine why this officer needed to pull me over but I thought maybe something was wrong with my car and I couldn't see it.

Imagine my surprise when he tells me I drove past him twice and he saw me using my cell phone. I explained that I did not and he could see my cell phone was in my bag and I only had sunglasses and a lip balm out of my bag at the time. He insisted on what he saw so I explained that at some point I did reach for my lip balm from my bag, but that was it. Only a lip balm, nothing else. I offered to show him my cell phone so he could see all my unchecked messages and the call log. He didn't even look at it and went to issue me a ticket.

I'm completely flabbergasted. I have never used my cell phone while driving so I cannot fathom why on earth he would think it okay to accuse me.

I have mailed in my ticket to request for trial (Newmarket Traffic Court) as I am obviously NOT guilty and won't be pleading as such either.

The only problem is that now, while I await my trail date, I am unclear of what I can do. Does anyone have a similar experience and is there anything I can do at this point?

Thank you in advance!


Zatota
Sr. Member
Sr. Member
Posts: 270
Joined:
Location: Thornhill

Posting Awards

Unread post by Zatota on

You mailed in your request? I didn't think Newmarket accepted mail-in requests. I know I've had to go there in person whenever I've needed to request a trial.

For now, do nothing. When you get your trial date, you can request disclosure. Disclosure will include the officer's notes and any other evidence the Crown intends to use against you. When you receive the disclosure, post a copy here (with any personal information blacked out) and your helpful friends will give you some suggestions. Look for any description the officer has given of what he saw. At trial, he must be able to describe your phone. Otherwise, as you said, he could be describing your lip balm, a mirror, your wallet, a pack of gum, etc. The same description should be contained in his notes. If he can't describe your phone, the Crown can't convict you.

Until you receive the trial notice, though, just try to think optimistically and to get on with your daily routine. There is absolutely nothing you can do between now and then.


JayT
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined:

Unread post by JayT on

Yes the court house hours are in between my work hours so I had called in to check if the mailing option is safe. I sent it via registered mail so it can be tracked all the way. I called in today to check and they confirmed it has been received and I should receive a court date by the end of September.

I will post disclosure notes once I receive them.

Until then, I will do as you say and just think optimistically. :) Thank you Zatota!


Whenaxis
Member
Member
Posts: 121
Joined:

Unread post by Whenaxis on

@Zatota -

Yes, York Region is heeding the advice of the Ministry of Attorney General (as are other jurisdictions) to make the Provincial Offences court process more 'accessible', 'modern', and 'convenient', including mailing trial requests instead of making people come in person. And now disclosure requests are being facilitated by email instead of fax. Just some of the POA 'modernization' changes recently.


Zatota
Sr. Member
Sr. Member
Posts: 270
Joined:
Location: Thornhill

Posting Awards

Unread post by Zatota on

It's about time! Those of you who are my vintage or older will remember the days when mailed trial requests were the norm. Then some genius had the bright idea of making things less convenient for defendants. I know some jurisdictions, such as Barrie, are accepting disclosure requests by e-mail. The last one I did was by fax; that's not so bad.


Whenaxis
Member
Member
Posts: 121
Joined:

Unread post by Whenaxis on

Just a heads up, as of July 1, apparently York Region is no longer accepting disclosure requests by fax and must now be sent by email or delivered in person.


JayT
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined:

Unread post by JayT on

I finally received my trial date earlier on October-- which will be late May of next year. :( So now I am just super anxious driving. I feel like I'll get pulled over randomly anytime just for sneezing or something.

I mailed and emailed in a request for disclosure as per the mailed instructions on October 10th and have still not heard anything back yet.

Thank you friends for your words of advise so far! I will post the disclosure once I get it.. hopefully I'll receive it very soon!

- JayT


mkat
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 2
Joined:

Unread post by mkat on

JayT wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:29 pm
I finally received my trial date earlier on October-- which will be late May of next year. :( So now I am just super anxious driving. I feel like I'll get pulled over randomly anytime just for sneezing or something.

I mailed and emailed in a request for disclosure as per the mailed instructions on October 10th and have still not heard anything back yet.

Thank you friends for your words of advise so far! I will post the disclosure once I get it.. hopefully I'll receive it very soon!

- JayT
Just created an account to post here.

This also just happened to me in Toronto. Was talking through the bluetooth car audio, then I saw lights - a cop said I was holding my phone, but I wasn't - it was my jacket which is a dark and bulky.

He kept on insisting that the entire stop is recording through audio and video (said it 4 times). I stayed quiet and do plan to fight it in court.

Has anyone else had this? @jayT, did you fight this?


JayT
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined:

Unread post by JayT on

For sure I'm going to fight this MKAT, and you should too!

As I've never been in court, I've finally made the decision to just go ahead and hire a paralegal to represent me. Normally with cell phone cases, they've advised me that there's no reducing the fine or anything like that (which normally you could do for say a speeding ticket). Which is fine since I believe 100% of the fine is ridiculous.
My paralegal advised that since we're 100% innocent, we are our best witness. The thing is, it's now really down to our word against the police officers. So your best bet is going to be to show up in court.

My court date is set for May 22nd and my paralegal is currently handling the paperworks so I have not yet seen the disclosure.

I'm absolutely terrified that somehow, they'll just rule guilty and I have no way to prove otherwise. I can't prove that I wasn't using a device, but the cop can surely make it seem as though he believe I was.

This is a horrible situation to be stuck in. If anyone's got further advice, I welcome it and appreciate it greatly!

@MKAT, let me know what advice you get too :) I'm so sorry it's happened to you, but at the same time, it's nice to know someone else knows how stressful it is. Literally everyone around me wants to be understanding but they all got tickets for actually speeding or actually being on their phone.


mkat
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 2
Joined:

Unread post by mkat on

JayT wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:08 pm
For sure I'm going to fight this MKAT, and you should too!

As I've never been in court, I've finally made the decision to just go ahead and hire a paralegal to represent me. Normally with cell phone cases, they've advised me that there's no reducing the fine or anything like that (which normally you could do for say a speeding ticket). Which is fine since I believe 100% of the fine is ridiculous.
My paralegal advised that since we're 100% innocent, we are our best witness. The thing is, it's now really down to our word against the police officers. So your best bet is going to be to show up in court.

My court date is set for May 22nd and my paralegal is currently handling the paperworks so I have not yet seen the disclosure.

I'm absolutely terrified that somehow, they'll just rule guilty and I have no way to prove otherwise. I can't prove that I wasn't using a device, but the cop can surely make it seem as though he believe I was.

This is a horrible situation to be stuck in. If anyone's got further advice, I welcome it and appreciate it greatly!

@MKAT, let me know what advice you get too :) I'm so sorry it's happened to you, but at the same time, it's nice to know someone else knows how stressful it is. Literally everyone around me wants to be understanding but they all got tickets for actually speeding or actually being on their phone.

Thanks for the quick reply. In my case, I think the officer was very nervous and literally told me 4 times, I'm being recorded. I stayed quiet the entire time (wife is a lawyer and taught me well - just kept nodding my head to his questions).

Here's what gets me going: on the ticket, he wrote my plate is ONT based, while my actual plate is from Quebec.

Can I use this as proof of the cop not paying attention?

Also, in most people's cases in this forum, they get caught while at a red light, and admit they did it. I was driving along, and were moving my hands because I was on the phone through bluetooth.

I don't understand how and why this officer decided to take advantage of me, but I am sure glad I am not alone.

I'll be filing for first resolution tomorrow.


brandon
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 3
Joined:

Unread post by brandon on

Don't get a resolution. Pay a little more to your paralegal and go for trial. Get rid of points






Post Reply

Return to “Hand-held devices”